The gods of Nevre: The Burning Ice – After

Ana sat on the frozen ground of the ice plains. The heat she was radiating had called some of the animals to her. The animals were adapted to the cold, like her, but unlike her they needed warmth as well. She didn’t need the warmth she radiated, but she didn’t want to spend the night alone. The animals of the ice plains were better than nothing.

Reaching out a hand Ana cooled it so that it wouldn’t burn skin and petted an ice rabbit. “Hello there, friend. How are you?”

The ice rabbit couldn’t respond to Ana, she knew that, but she just wanted to talk, she didn’t care if conversation actually flowed.

A small voice piped up from the ice rabbit. “Warm now that you’re here. Who are you?”

Stifling a gasp with her other hand Ana stared at the ice rabbit. “I’m Ana, The Burning Ice.”

“Oh.” The ice rabbit blinked at her. “I’m Thrum.”

“Nice to meet you, Thrum.” A smile spread across Ana’s face. “I’m going now. Hurry home before you lose my warmth.”

The ice rabbit turned and started hopping away rapidly.

“That goes for all of you.” Ana said this loud enough for the other animals to hear. “I’m going soon, so hurry home.”

The other animals dispersed, some more slowly than others. Once they were a distance away Ana teleported back to a temple dedicated to her. She pulled a sheet of paper from a small stack, wrote a note on it, and left it on her head priest’s lectern. It read: “Discovered new ability. Will be gone for a week or so. Ana.”

– – –

The Burning Ice stood in a small clearing in the forest in Aliaz. Several elves looked on as she fed the warmth of life into a small acorn. The transfer was visible as an orange haze flowing from her into the acorn. The acorn started to sprout and Ana backed away. She motioned for the elves to do the same.

“Today, the elves find a home. The people who were once afflicted by a disease and were purified by the Fount of the Gods shall at last have a homeland. This forest.” The small oak sapling behind Ana burst up, out of the ground with a thunderous crack and the ground trembled violently. Reaching up to the sky the oak sapling became a massive oak old-growth with strong branches. “This is the first iron oak tree. Use its bark to create tools, and its branches as foundations for your homes. If you live in the tree, the tree will live in you.”

The elves, recovering from the shock of the tree bursting from the ground, began to approach her one by one. They showed her their thanks and worshiped her.

The last elf that approached her was their leader. He bowed deeply to her and kissed the back of her hand. Her hand was the perfect warmth. “If I thought you would say yes I would ask for your hand in marriage, Burning Ice, but we both know better than that.”

“Yes, we do.” Ana smiled at the elf. “Here, Grevak.” She put something in his hand. “When this grows I will be returning. I have other places to be, but I will be back.” She let go of his hand and vanished.

In Grevak’s hand was a small, metallic acorn. He smiled and held it up for his people to see. They cheered and began using the magics Ana had taught them to have trees give them branches without being cut down. They used the branches of the other trees to start building houses in the branches of the iron oak.

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